Well Hung

Remember that scene in Mommy Dearest, when the Joan Crawford character is screaming at her daughter about wire coat hangers and how much she can’t stand them? Edited, it basically goes like this: “No… wire… hangers! … What’re wire hangers doing in this closet when I told you: no wire hangers EVER!? … Wire hangers, why? Why?”

I confess: I too hate wire hangers. But I didn’t realize how much I hated them until I found about 20 old wooden ones in the barn before we restructured it. Beautiful. Simple. Perfect. Like the classic yellow number 2 pencil. Or the unbeatable wooden clothes pin. Functional. Built to last. Pleasing.

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They even tell stories in beautiful typography. Once upon a time…a dress in a Paris boutique hung here. Once upon a time…a shirt was laundered and pressed in the Netherlands. “Like new,” in two languages. A bilingual coat-hanger. If only they could really speak.


The stories would be rich, murmured in French, Dutch and English. Tales of hard-trodden sidewalks and hours in the office. Night flights on PAN-AM tucked inside leather luggage alongside romance novels and fire engine red lipstick. Sequins spelling disaster on a rainy night. Shoulder pads in, shoulder pads out, the decades pressing on. And yet, what were they doing in a barn? Abandoned to a life of cobwebby country living, until rediscovered by a hectic family of four with a particularly appreciative mother. No…more…wire…hangers!

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15 Responses to Well Hung

  1. cecilia says:

    Oh I completely agree, But most of all i like the fabric hangers, they never leave those ridgy marks in the fabric. I left you a rather long winded answer to your question in my Lounge of Comments.. I am so mental! Sorry. However you have reminded me about a hangers project i was going to do, i shall do it today after i make the last batch of soap, do you need more soap?.. c

  2. I can’t believe it. I just put a small collection of wire ones in our recycling bin. Most envious of those beautiful wooden treasures.

  3. dayphoto says:

    I always love your posts! The photographs are so crisp and clear; your thoughts so provoking!

  4. Teresa Elliott says:

    I’ve always hated hangers too, but not these. I think they were in the barn waiting for you or someone of your ilk to liberate them. Whoever put them there thought enough of them to store them out of harm’s way.

  5. Teresa Elliott says:

    And that’s a deliciously cheeky title, I might add.

  6. Debra Kolkka says:

    I loathe wire hangers too. When I closed my shop many years ago I kept all my beautiful wooden ones. They take up more space in the wardrobe but I love them, I would have been thrilled with the discovery in the barn.

  7. They do take up more space, but then the things hang nicely and not all jammed up and tangled as can happen with the wire ones. Alas, in Milan I have wire hangers. Not enough space and too much stuff and a family of four…well, you know. Lucky you for having all the hangers from your store. It must have been a lovely store to have wooden hangers…

  8. Gerlinde says:

    I’m cleaning out my mom’s apartment and closet. Some of her hangers are over fifty years old and bring back memories of stores we used to visit.

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